Anthony Noce

Report of the Committee on Environmental Improvement, Philadelphia, August 2016

Blog Post created by Anthony Noce on Aug 25, 2016

The Committee on Environmental Improvement (CEI) continues to focus its attention on increasing ACS leadership related to sustainability in the chemistry enterprise. Just as advancing sustainability requires collaboration, CEI does much of its best work through establishing partnerships with a wide array of ACS units. The committee has been reorganized to build a structure around our strategic plan – everything is designed to provide focus and action and the tactics necessary to achieve our strategic vision.


In keeping with our committee charge, CEI supports and encourages programming around the theme of sustainability by local sections and at regional meetings. We often carry out this mission by making grants to other ACS units. CEI awarded Local Section Sustainability Grants to four local sections. We are pleased to support the Eastern New York, Northeastern, Greater Houston, and Lehigh Valley local sections to deliver programming on sustainability and sustainable chemistry, and would like to thank them for their leadership in this area.


We hope you were able to join us at the ChemLuminary Awards last night. If you were, you know that the Committee had an exceedingly difficult decision to make among the finalists for the ChemLuminary Award for Sustainability. In the end, the committee decided to give out two awards this year, to the Midland and Dallas-Fort Worth local sections. Thank you for making our job so difficult.


CEI is committed to partnerships – both the development of new bridges and the strengthening of established ties. We have partnered with a number of different technical divisions, including ENVR, AGRO, AGFD, I&EC, CHED, and CHAS, as well as Corporation Associates, the Committee on Science, and the ACS Green Chemistry Institute. We encourage other divisions, committees, and units of the Society who are interested in projects focused on sustainability or public policy to reach out to CEI to establish future partnerships.


In the policy area, CEI continues to review existing ACS policy statements to keep them fresh and relevant and to explore emerging areas of interest where the society can contribute the expertise of its members. At this time, we can think of no more important focus for our efforts to achieve a sustainable chemical enterprise than the effective implementation of an amended Toxic Substances Control Act.  Let’s take this opportunity to change our practice of chemistry for the better.


During this meeting, CEI co-sponsored two days’ worth of programing highlighted by “The Debate: What Role Should We Play in the Biotechnology Era?” This session was designed to explore whether or not ACS should develop a policy statement in this area and, if so, what it might say.


CEI appreciates our partners at the Committees on Chemistry and Public Affairs, Corporation Associates, and Science, who continue to work cooperatively to provide the best possible policy recommendations to the ACS Board.